Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Falkenbach - Asa

I've been a huge fan of Falkenbach since first hearing their 2003 opus, Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty when it was released. To me, that album was an album that defined a genre, being heavy but seriously melodic I instantly became a fan. I immediately acquired the remainder of what was their discography up to that time. I have since picked up all subsequent releases as well. Heralding - The Fireblade was good but not as good as their previous releases and Tiurida slipped even more. They were not bad albums in any way as I believe that Vratyas Vakyas in incapable of releasing anything that's truly bad. These albums just did not live up to the band's former glory.

In April of 2013 we were given a teaser of the new album in the single titled "Eweroun". I knew at that point we were in for something special from Vratyas Vakyas and his hired guns. On November 1, 2013 Asa was unleashed upon the world (a day before my birthday so happy birthday to me!) and to my wondrous ears it appeared that the Falkenbach I knew and loved were back. All was right with the world. The album kicks off with "Vaer Stjernar Vaerdan" which is your typical Falkenbach song with flowing melodies and acoustic and electric guitars playing together. This album already reminded me of Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty in the way it sounded. The song had Vratyas singing his hypnotic clean vocals in a language that I'm not quite sure of but appears to be an extinct Germanic language. There's even some lead guitar there adding melody and atmosphere to the song.

Then to my surprise the second track, "Wulfarweijd", kicks in and this is an ass kicker from start to finish. It's speedy with double bass and Vratyas doing harsh vocals throughout taking me even further back into this band's discography. This was a welcoming sign because I thought that maybe Vratyas was running out of new ideas. However, this album seemed like he had finally found his niche and was able to combine the aggressiveness of his earlier releases with the melodies of Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty. I was right because this album is the combination of everything that is Falkenbach...aggression, melody and his odes to the Gods of old! Songs like "Mijn Laezt Wourd", "Eweroun", and "Ufirstanan Folk" are your melodic Falkenbach songs with the acoustic guitars just slightly back in the mix over the electrics and Vratyas' clean vocals singing just making beautiful music.

Then you have songs like "Bronzen Embrace" (the only song sung in English), and "I Nattens Stilta" being your more aggressive songs. The songs are catchy and melodic even though they are faster and Vratyas uses only his harsh vocals on these songs. His harsh vocals are really good too as not to overpower the music or sound like he's trying to hard to be grim. Once again, the musicianship on these songs is really good and the songs are catchy as well. There's even "Bluot Fuër Bluot" that combines the two styles that takes me back to ...En Their Medh Riki Fara...

This album takes everything that makes Falkenbach what it is and molds it together to make this the best release from Falkenbach in over a decade. I thoroughly enjoy this album and gets played regularly. I do love this type of folk metal and no one does it better than this band. If you were a fan of this band but were not impressed with their last two releases then get won't be disappointed.


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